Episode 63. Lessons on Expertise with JC Santana

Jul 3, 2017 | 0 comments

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Show Notes

We had JC Santana on again to talk functional training, as well as what he’s learned over the decades in industry. JC’s an expert on program design, functional training, and coaching, and Scott was excited to have JC on to share more of his wisdom, expertise and knowledge.

JC’s Travel Lessons

  • Scott began by asking what JC noticed or learned on his recent travels, pretty much around the world (Middle East, China, South America).
  • JC noticed the similarities between our culture and others.  Parents loved their children and wanted them to grow up safe in a better world. Families expressed affection.
  • JC emphasized the importance of not just playing well with others, but coming from a spirit of giving. Scott likes to say “having something to offer.” (Mike thinks it needs to stay from a frame of giving.)
  • JC holding up a jiu jitsu medal from his travels.

    Both JC and Scott talked about the importance of always growing. Mike thought this is true, and that often the economic side of things (read: how much you earn) matches how much you serve/give and/or grow so that you can serve/give even more…. yet this is also — obviously — not always true.

  • Scott also pointed out that you don’t necessarily have to begin or start from a healthy, positive mindset. You should, but you can also start something for the “wrong” reasons, but then learn and grow and transition and keep doing that same thing, but for better reasons.
  • In China JC also noticed the huge surge of economic growth going on, leading to an increase in disposable income, and a demand for trainers who know what they’re doing.



  • The difference between stability versus balance? Stability is a pyramid, wide at the bottom, small at the top. Balance is a pyramid turned upside down, resting on its tip but still remaining stable.
  • When you don’t have stability, you don’t have a fixed point, and it’s hard to generate power. For example: try running across a tight rope. You can’d do it, and you can’t generate power. Now try it on a flat track. Suddenly you can.
  • There are some rare times to use more balance training. In particular, when there’s a need for a lot of proprioception work without concern for the quality of the proprioception.

    A diagram illustrating the difference between A-frame and 7-frame positions. (This is taken from JC’s Functional Training book, p. 18.)

  • JC likes 7-frame training (single-leg stuff) for people who need to be fast, since it’s involved so heavily in loco-motion.
  • One of the over-arching themes in what JC talked about was knowing why you were doing what you were doing: what does my trainee need to do, and what is the easiest, fastest way to train for this need/demand? This is very different from “well balance stuff is always good, right?” It’s about using tools for specific reasons.

Find out more about our guest today,
JC Santana:


JC’s site or homepage for everything. Predator bands, DVDs, certifications, and more.

Get it from:  JC’s website | Amazon

JC’s new book on functional training. From the sales page: “Take your performance to the next level with Functional Training. Author Juan Carlos Santana brings you his revolutionary approach to training and conditioning methods sure to improve your function in any sport or activity. Functional Training covers the recent breakthroughs, the most exercises, and proven programs that you can follow or incorporate into your existing training plan.”